Racing to gold

Recreational services raises money for scholarships and philanthropy “Girl on the Run” during 16th annual Gold Rush 5k

| February 7, 2017

Racer poses with Norm the Niner on the Irwin Belk Track. Photo by Kristopher Harris.

UNC Charlotte Recreational Services hosted its 16th annual Gold Rush 5K in which the Charlotte community showed their support for the 500 racers on Feb. 4. Businesses and vendors set up tents with games, food and warm beverages for the participants on the chilly morning.

Racer Kaiti Stewart commented on the community support, “(The race) is way more than I thought it would be. I like how many sponsors there are and coming out to support us in the cold.”

The race is held to raise money for Recreational Services student scholarships and to bring together the Charlotte community.

LaVella Hall, event coordinator, said “The net proceeds go towards Recreational Services Student Development Scholarships, but the race is also a way to bring together UNC Charlotte students, alumni and community members.”

Participants also had the opportunity to donate to Girls on the Run, the philanthropy partner for the Gold Rush 5K. Last year donations reached $400 and Hall hoped to exceed that this year.

Over 94 awards were given to participants after the race. Each winner received a medal, DICK’s Sporting Goods gift certificate, free smoothie card and a ticket to the UNC Charlotte men’s basketball game that evening. Overall male and female winner also received a Norm statue.

The race began at 9 a.m. at the Irwin Belk Track. The 3.1 mile race looped around the football stadium, back down to Craver Road and Mary Alexander Road, which led them to Alumni Way and Toby Creek and finished them back at Irwin Belk Track.

Stewart and her friends Matt Bulen and Hollyann Walker all agreed that “the second mile was the hardest. It was all uphill.”

Even though they were exhausted, their faces gleamed with joy, which was mirrored by all the participants who had completed the race.

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